Lori Mitchell graduated with honors from the internationally renowned Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Lori wrote and illustrated the award-winning children’s book, 'Different Just Like Me', for which she appeared on Oprah and the Today show. She has illustrated 9 more books since, including 'Holly Bloom’s Garden' and her latest, 'Bal Yoga for Kids', which won the San Diego Book award for 2012. She also does advertising and editorial illustrations. She is the president of the Society of Illustrators, San Diego.
For what age audience do you write/illustrate?
Three of my books are for K through third grade ('Different Just Like Me', 'Holly Bloom’s Garden' and 'Bal Yoga for Kids'), six of them are for second and third grades ('Spruce Street Six' series), and one is for K-12 ('Marfan, from A to Z'). This book is for all kids that have a connective tissue disorder called Marfan’s Syndrome.
Henry: I always have immense respect for someone skillful enough to be a published writer AND illustrator.
Tell us about your latest book.
My latest is 'Bal Yoga for Kids'. It won the San Diego Book award in 2012. I worked with Sylvia Roth and Glenda Kacev on this book. They are both teachers and have been teaching kids and yoga for many years. They were both so much fun to work with. They let me do pretty much what I wanted and they were always so complimentary on the final drawings. They also worked with Lorna Masaki, a wonderful designer, so the book looks very professional. I illustrated the poses. They run the alphabet from the Airplane pose to the Zebra pose, and I got to draw each one. They may some day make stuffed animals based on some of the images.
Henry: How unique! Yoga pose plushies!
What do you hope readers will get from reading that book?
I have heard that so many parents and teachers use the book and the kids love it. It relaxes them and they learn how to calm themselves down on their own if they ever feel upset. Sylvia and Glenda did a demo with an audience of K-12 students. They thought maybe they could do a couple of poses but all the kids liked it so much they did the whole book! The book comes with a CD and DVD that helps too.
What aspect of illustrating do you find most challenging?
I think the most challenging thing is when I meet a client and have to figure out what they want. I need to come up with just the right questions so I get the answers that I need before I get started.
Henry: That is true of so many fields. :)
Click to read the complete interview at Henry Herz's blog on fantasy and science fiction books for kids.